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ALDF Sues University of Wisconsin Over Baby Primate Testing In Labs

PHOTO: The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has filed a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin–Madison over what the group claims is lack of transparency regarding its planned testing of baby primates. Photo courtesy of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
PHOTO: The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has filed a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin–Madison over what the group claims is lack of transparency regarding its planned testing of baby primates. Photo courtesy of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
October 16, 2014

MADISON, Wis. - This "monkey business" is no laughing matter.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit this week against the University of Wisconsin at Madison, accusing the university of a "lack of transparency" concerning pending research on baby monkeys.

Kelsey Eberly, litigation fellow with ALDF, says 20 newborn macaques monkeys will be separated from their mothers on their first day of life, and subjected to various anxiety-inducing experiments. When they turn 18 months old, they and 20 others will be killed, and their brains analyzed.

"The university has so far defended the research and said it was approved through all the proper channels," says Eberly. "We believe that it wasn't fully approved in the way the Animal Welfare Act requires."

Eberly says many see the research as archaic, and that it will inflict too much unnecessary pain on the primates for speculative human health benefits. The university asserts the research is aimed at a better understanding of anxiety and depression disorders in humans.

Eberly says another issue of concern is the primate study is funded by the National Institute of Health, which means taxpayer dollars are being used.

"When taxpayer money is going to research, we should be even more careful and we should ask even more pointed questions about the degree of animal suffering that we're willing to tolerate for the research," she says.

A change.org petition has garnered over 300,000 signatures from the public demanding an end to the tests.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - WI